Obituary for Robert Lawrence Robbins
Robert (Bob) Lawrence Robbins was born on August 13, 1935, in the Manitoba rural municipality of Landsdowne to parents Grace Ellen and Henry Lawrence Robbins. Born into a farm family as the first of six children, Bob’s early years and many of his personal interests were shaped by his rural roots, both as a farmer’s son and as a young working farmhand.
As with all things meant to be, fate led to Bob meeting the love of his life, Caroline Christina Peterson, in what could only be characterized as a drive-by romance. First spying Carol in back seat of her parents’ car going in the opposite direction, Bob pulled a U-turn to follow them to their destination, the home of Carol’s cousin, from which Bob had left just a few minutes earlier. Following their courtship, Bob and Carol were married on July 6, 1963, in the Minnedosa Evangelical Covenant Church. Over the next number of years, they built their life and first house together, next door to Carol’s parents. There they began their family, having their first and only child, Robert Wayne, in 1969. Bob and Carol lived together in Minnedosa for their entire married life, except for a four-year stint in the nearby town of Rivers.
Bob’s work life as a general labourer included time as a custodian at Tanner’s Crossing Elementary School, Minnedosa Collegiate and the Minnedosa Credit Union, a welder at AgroSteel and Morris Industries, a grain handler at United Grain Growers in Rivers, a general carpenter and construction worker for a variety of firms, as well as a groundskeeper and seasonal caretaker at the Minnedosa Cemetery.
Bob loved to busy himself with anything that he could tear apart and put back together—quite often as something different! He loved construction and woodworking and anything to do with vehicles, especially trucks and farm machinery. He was well ahead of his time in terms of recycling and using reclaimed materials. Countless hours puttering about the yard and the garage gave Bob a sense of satisfaction. Often what he made wasn’t fancy, but it was always useful.
In the years after Carol passed, Bob spent more and more of his time with a range of old and new friends, including his Bible study buddies and the coffee shop gang. He also spent many hours with family friend Ellen Hunter, a kindred spirit in the do-it-yourself and up-cycling arena. Later, he became a companion of Joyce Alexander, and the pair were a common sight together in Minnedosa, be it at the Co-op store or their favourite restaurant.
Bob quietly entered into rest at his home on September 24, 2019. Following a private family interment service at the Minnedosa Cemetery, a celebration of life was held at the Evangelical Covenant Church on October 1, 2019. Bob was predeceased by his wife Carol in 2003, parents Grace and Lawrence Robbins in 1986 and 1995, brother Raymond Robbins in 1996, father-in-law Hilmer Peterson in 1977 and mother-in-law Tena Peterson in 2009. Bob is survived by his son Wayne, brothers Art and Allan Robbins, sisters Eileen Repeta and Sharon Caddoo, sisters-in-law Margaret Titley and Jane and Marie Peterson, along with their spouses and children. Those who so wish are welcome to make a donation to their charity of choice in Bob’s name. White’s Funeral Home was in care of arrangements.
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